Saturday, August 16, 2014

Groovin' in the Gorge

I love live music.  It's always fun to see and hear your favorite band in the flesh.  And during the summertime there's no better concert venue than the great outdoors.

Let the show begin!

Back in 2011, I won tickets to see Styx perform at the Maryhill Winery.  Located on the Washington side of the eastern gorge, the winery constructed an amphitheater on the banks of the Columbia River overlooking vineyards, steep bluffs, and wind turbines.  It was such a perfect place to view a concert, I'd been wanting to come back ever since.

Maryhill amphitheater

When Maryhill announced their 2014 concert schedule, I was thrilled to see Styx on the list.  Even better - they were paired up with Foreigner.  Two favorite bands from my high school days! (Yes, I realize I'm dating myself)  I bought tickets the minute they were available.

Golden hills of the eastern Gorge

Concert day was the first Saturday of August.  Blazingly hot in Portland, temps only rose higher as Roger and I headed east.  But once we we arrived at the winery, and settled in to a spot on the lawn, a thin cloud layer slipped over the sun.  Ahhh....not having the sun's hot glare beating down upon us helped so much.

The local vino

The venue allows concert-goers to bring in outside food and sealed, non-alcoholic drinks.  But if you wish to imbibe, one must purchase wine from the winery.  And it isn't cheap!

Of course we had to try some!

But this was a special event, so we decided to spring for a bottle.  Gotta sample the local vino!

Foreigner takes the stage

Waiting for the concert to start, we lazed around in the grass, sipping our wine, eating our sandwiches and cheese, and watching the crowd around us.  It was people-watching at it's finest.

This guy's t-shirt made us laugh

There were lots of gray-haired people in the crowd.  Roger and I laughed about all the "old farts" sitting around until we realized most of them were probably the same age as us!  But it was fun to see so many folks having a good time.  Everyone reliving their younger years - remembering the first time they'd seen these bands.  We even noticed a lady, well into her 70s, who stood along the sidelines dancing away.

Colorful crowd

Foreigner took the stage first.  Although we were told by the people sitting next to us that the original band members no longer tour, the new "Foreigner" sounded just like I remembered from high school days.  They put on a great show and had the crowd rockin'.

Time for Styx

Then after a brief intermission, Styx took the stage.  As with Foreigner, there's only one original member of Styx that still tours with the band, guitarist Tommy Shaw.  Sadly, the man who replaced their lead singer (the amazing Dennis DeYoung) was nowhere near as good.

No more flicking your Bic - now everyone turns on their cell phones

At one point in the show, the audience was encouraged to turn on their cell phone screens and hold them high.  A 21st century equivalent of "flicking your Bic" before the concert (anyone remember doing that??)

Confetti finale

Styx only played a little more than one hour, before ending their show in a rain of confetti.  The sparkling paper bits twinkling in the stage lights made for a great photo op (except that someone walked into my frame....)

End of the show

Although Styx was a bit disappointing, it was still fun to be outside enjoying music and wine in a beautiful setting.  I'm ready to do it again next year.  Wonder when Maryhill's 2015 concert schedule comes out?

Sharing with:  Our World Tuesday


  1. I can feel the enthusiasm, the spirit of the evening.. you brought it all to life in your wonderful, happy post.

  2. Linda, it sounds like an AWESOME place to see a concert.. I used to enjoy both Styx and Foreigner..Sampling the local vino is great too. Thanks for sharing, have a happy Sunday!

  3. What a fab place for a concert.

    Ok, I'll date myself now too.... Styx originated in Chicago and they were just becoming a popular local band and they played at my high school prom. I still have the program from prom.

  4. We just went to a music festival too, an annual event for us where you get up close and personal with the performers. Great time!

  5. Looks like a great time, Linda! Brilliant photos!

  6. Fun! We were at an open air concert in Salem yesterday. Loved 2 of the 3 people/groups we heard. Left before final group was ok, fun. Thanks for sharing your photos. It's pretty over in Maryhill. I've not been there for awhile. The museum is great. Need to go there again. Next spring? We always wind up going to the gorge at least once a year now. But I wanna go to the coast soon! Have a good week!

  7. nice pic of you and hubby. nice to meet you.

  8. Foreigner and Styx? What a great time! Two bands that were very popular when I was a young 'un...LOL... I still enjoy their music. Wonderful photos, too. And I laughed with that T-shirt!

  9. What a fabulous way to spend the day,

  10. What a beautiful site for a concert! Looks like everyone had an awesome time:)

  11. Now that looked like a fun time !
    I was remembering the good ole days :))

  12. What a place for a concert. Holy cow! Makes me want to go up there & hear some music.

  13. Looks like a great concert and what a fun time was had by all it appears! Great captures! Thanks for sharing the fun!!

  14. It sounds like fun. They came to Denver this year and I thought about buying tickets, but ended up not doing so. Red Rocks is one of my favorite places to see a show - great scenery and always lively bands.

  15. I recall seeing Styx in the dim and distant past! Some things seem to last for ever!

    I felt rather guilty for not really liking Cromer - but thats the way it was.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  16. Styx - Foreigner? Who the heck are they? Actually, Linda, that old lady bopping on the sidelines was ME! Cheers.

  17. Sounds wonderful!! Of course I remember flicking my Bic and have repeated the story to my kids when they go to concerts these days. Love that you were commenting about all the old farts and then realized they are around your age lol. Thanks so much for popping over to welcome me back to blogging :)

  18. Sweet memories of the past now in the present. Loved your photos and your commentary. :)

  19. Dig the photos and many thanx for sharing the experience with us. What A Location!!!

  20. Looks like the perfect place to enjoy a summer concert... especially with two of my favorite bands from (gulp) long ago! Especially Foreigner... loved their music.


Don't be shy! Please leave a comment.